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#1 Kabuli Pulao Recipe

Kabuli Pulao is a variety of pilaf made in Afghanistan. Pilaf or pilau is a rice dish whose recipe usually includes cooking in broth or broth, adding spices and other ingredients, such as vegetables or meat. It consists of a mixture of rice and raisins, carrots, and beef or lamb. Depending on the region, there will be different changes. Due to the price and quality of the ingredients and the tradition of being an Afghan national cuisine, Kabul Plau is considered a festive and important dish. Traditionally, the plate is placed in the center of the meal along with other food, forming the rest of the periphery.


  • 3 cups of Basmati Rice

  • 1/2 cup of oil

  • 2 lbs lamb or beef

  • 2 onions (thinly sliced)

  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 10 Cardamom pods

  • 2 tsp. of cumin seeds

  • 6 whole cloves

  • 3 cups of beef stock or water

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 3 carrots (peeled and shredded)

  • 1/4 cup of sugar

  • 1/2 cup of raisins (soaked in water and drained)

  • 1 tsp. of ground cardamom

  • 1/2 cup of toasted almonds (sliced)

  • 2 tsp. of garam masala


  1. In a large bowl wash and drain the rice with 2 or 3 changes of water. Add more water to cover the rice, then set it aside to soak for 1 to 2 hours.

  2. Heat 1/4 cup of oil in a large thick-bottomed pot over medium heat, heating in batches, brown meat on all sides. Put the meat on the plate and set it aside.

  3. Add the onion to the hot oil and fry until cooked and soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Then add the whole garlic and spices and fry for about a minute.

  4. Return the meat to the pot, add broth or water, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to the lowest, cover and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, or use a fork to cook until the meat is tender.

  5. Strain the meat, onions, and spices from the boiling broth, set aside, and save the broth.

  6. Heat the remaining 1/4 cup oil in a wok or large pot over medium heat. Add the carrots and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes to soften. Add the sugar and continue cooking for 1 or 2 minutes to slightly caramelize the sugar, being careful not to burn it.

  7. Remove from heat and carefully add 1 cup of reserved broth. (Be careful. It may splash a bit). Then add the raisins, cardamom, and salt to taste and set aside.

  8. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drain the soaked rice and stir in boiling water. Re-boil and cook the rice for 3-4 minutes. Then drain the rice, pour out the water, and place it in a large bowl.

  9. Grease or lightly grease the inside of a large heat-resistant pan with a lid. Mix the remaining broth with the reserved rice. Spread half of the rice lightly on the bottom of the oiled pan. Spread the reserved meat and onions evenly on the rice. Put carrots and raisins on the meat. Finally, spread the remaining rice evenly over the other ingredients in the pot.

  10. Poke four or five holes in the bottom of the pot with the handle of a wooden spoon. These holes allow excess liquid to boil out of the rice so that it does not get wet. Cover the top of the pot with a clean kitchen towel. This prevents condensed steam from dripping onto the rice. Finally, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and fold the protruding towel over the lid.

  11. Put the pot over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Next, reduce the heat to low, then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, close the lid and let it rest for 10 minutes.

  12. Use a large fork to gently stir the rice and meat. Put the pulao in a large bowl and garnish with roasted almonds and a pinch of garam masala. Serve hot.

Travelers to the South Asian country Afghanistan will not be able to avoid the country's national dish, Kabuli Pulao or Qabili Palaw. This main dish is characterized by rich nutrition and a fusion of several popular local flavors. Despite the changes, the main features are the traditionally seasoned golden basmati rice, the shredded lamb or chicken and beans, as well as the unique grated carrots, walnuts, and raisins.


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